Skip to comments.The structural flaws ruining America
Posted on 03/18/2014 7:15:09 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
When I hear the phrase “structural problems” coming out of the mouths of elected officials, candidates or political pundits, I immediately assume that I’m about to get another lecture on America’s crumbling infrastructure. (And make no mistake, there are more than a few bridges and roadways that need some work. Pennsylvanians don’t say that their state bird is the traffic cone for nothing.) But this weekend, our colleague John Hawkins has knocked together one of his big five lists on a similar sounding topic with, The 5 Structural Problems That Are Destroying America.
We’re not talking about interstates in need of new guard rails here. Following is a thumbnail view of the big five so you can see where he’s going with this. (Obviously, the full dose is available at the link.)
1) Insufficient Turnover In Congress: Because of gerrymandering, political polarization, and a lack of term limits, Congress has turned into a stagnant pond.
2) A Broken Education System: The primary goal of our education is not to educate our students; it’s to sustain the teachers unions and fatten the bank accounts of the college professors and administrators at our universities.
3) Unsustainable Spending: It is quite literally impossible to pay off the debt our nation owes along with the commitment we’ve made to our own citizens via Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security unless inflation dramatically reduces the value of our currency which would erode savings, drive cost-of-living expenses into the stratosphere and generally decimate the economy.
4) Our Immigration Policies: An ideal immigration policy would be based on merit, would focus on adding highly skilled immigrants, would be easily adjustable, wouldn’t change the demographics of our country and would be simple and inexpensive for law-abiding immigrants. Our current system meets none of these requirements.
5) An Overly-Progressive Tax System: America doesn’t have the highest taxes in the Western world, but it does have the most progressive tax system in the Western world. As a practical matter, what this means is that we have large numbers of Americans voting on whether others should pay more taxes in order to give them things.
It’s not that I really disagree with any of those five items. (Honestly, what rational person would deny any of them?) But when I think of the word structural what comes to mind is something deeper… something at the foundation of the building. I try to summon up what those things are which form the foundation on which all of our marvelous achievements rest, and it’s something deeper than tax policy, crumbling schools or term limits. What all of America is built upon is the family and the social fabric which is supposed to hold the people together and generally urge the vast majority in the boat to keep rowing in the same direction.
Family and community are, in my never very humble opinion, where the real structural deficiencies in the country are found. There is no number of stunning buildings, hopeful businesses or opulent mansions which can last for long without people who honestly care and are invested in their joint need to grow and prosper. When families fail, communities weaken and everything around them begins to unravel. The divorce rate is surging back up, and far too many children are growing up in single parent homes.
General cultural decline is not hard to find either, with examples too numerous to list here. In a strong community, neighbors can rely on each other. They watch out for each others homes when they are away, and when the bad guys come, they should be banding together to notify the authorities and fight to keep the barbarians away from the gates. But when the family and the neighborhoods break down, everything built on top of this foundation rots away on top of it. And that’s the real structural problem that’s messing us up.
6) The Party of Government (aka the Uniparty)
Time to get back to our “roots” !
America has turned away from God.
It’s spiritual roots are the strongest of the roots holding the tree of freedom and liberty upright.
We can fix the bark all we want.
If we don’t nourish the root, the tree will topple.
The number of laws, taxes and regulations affecting businesses starting with local zoning regs and going on up to the insane Federal tax code are mind boggling.
Finally - someone saying exactly what I’ve been saying for years.....
But, as noted in Post #4, the real root cause is spiritual.
Our nation - including a large percentage of political conservatives - has not only turned from God - has turned against God. Historically, a 100% fatal move - apart from repentance............
Our nation is so weak, I wouldn’t be surprised if Putin in cahoots with China concludes if there is ever a time to nuke the USA, it is now - as any response from us is highly unlikely.
Probably the main reason they wouldn’t do this is because the end of the US would be catastrophic to China, who is so dependent on us.
Russia is not similarly dependent, and would know they could do fine without us.........
That’s what scares me, Russia (USSR) has a chess master and tough guy as a leader and over here we have an agitator in The White Hut. Maybe my mother is in a better place, she’d be in tears over this.
My mother would be spitting mad if she were here. But I’m really beginning to wonder if the problems with the US aren’t far more profound than these 5 problems, which are nearly unfixable. With the expansion of the welfare state, we’re heading toward a one party government all the while the “system” that elects people to office isn’t capable of promoting upward truly inspired and competent leadership. That’s particularly true relative to foreign affairs.
That fact will finally come truly home when the moochers elect President Camacho to the White Hut. (Idiocracy).
7) Voters whose Selfish and Stupid rating tops out at 17 on a 1-10 scale.
There are two aspects of public life; politics and policy. Politics is what you do to get the office. Policy is what you do once you are there. We have a system designed to select 536 elected officials in Washington who are masters at politics, but know absolutely nothing about policy. To the extent that there is policy, it is only as an extension of politics.
You were spot in singling out foreign affairs. International relations and diplomacy is all about policy and not about politics. Just look how Putin is running rings around the political hack/community organizer and his monkey-boy secretary of state. Who could possibly believe that these two have any experience necessary to hold their jobs and make policy?
But they are politicians, and that's how they got the jobs.
But when the family and the neighborhoods break down, everything built on top of this foundation rots away on top of it. And thats the real structural problem thats messing us up.
I scanned the list of 5 and immediately thought of them as symptoms of the deterioration of the traditional family. Then I read further and noted that he added this thought. This is closer to the root cause.
But of course, the true root cause is our broken relationship with God. A good old fashioned Christian Revival is our only hope of turning this ship around.
Getting “rid” of God starting in the 60s didn’t work very well for our society.
Locally we have a city council worried about summer curfew time for urban youts.
Do they really think urban youts with no moral compass, willing to shoot a fellow human being over a snarky remark or whatever, is going to worry about a curfew?
All very true concerning politics v. policies. But the structural problems in the US that promote glad handing, empty suit, politicians to Congress.......apparently for life, and megalomaniac buffoons to the White Hut are so profound and entrenched that nothing short of a national crises will ever result in something like a fix.
My thought this a.m. is that as much as we admire and love the vision and governmental system of the founders of the US, we may be forced to admit that the system, designed for an 18th century agrarian society is simply inadequate for a 21st Century Technocracy. Of course, we’ll never know because as the system works today, its not much representative of the founders original vision of “limited” government. In the 18th/19th century, service in Congress was...........service and not for profit and usually meant a great deal of personal sacrifice. As I see it, the way the system was set up, the President/Executive Branch was largely toothless and limited to matters of defense. The “Administrative” body, responsible for setting and outlining policy was the Senate which wasn’t elected by popular vote.
Since WWI, all of that was turned on its head; the Senate is toothless, the Executive Branch is near Imperial and the House of Representin’ does near nothing. That could have been somewhat “fadable” if it weren’t for the fact that the “parties” no longer function as genuine political parties.
I think it is an inevitable evolution of a body politic. The American people are soft; victims of their own affluence. I know it’s been said before to the extent that its cliche. But it is true. The American people lack the political will to demand that the national leadership make the tough decisions that are in the benefit of all of us, even though it requires a sacrfice. Americans don’t want to sacrifice. So we elect the politicians who promise 0bamaphones, ham trees, candy land, pixie dust and unicorns jumping over rainbows.
It is a circular, or self-reinforcing cycle. Americans want to live a fantasy. They vote for the politician who promises it. But it clearly makes for bad policy.
The reason I said that it is the inevitable evolution of a body politic is the quote attributed to de Toqueville:
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
At least from what I’ve gathered from clips I’ve seen, at least President Camacho really wanted to fix America and do what is right despite him not being wound too tight. With what we have now is a doomsday machine on two legs who wants to destroy us.